A valley to combine fun, wellbeing and adventure.
Less than a one-hour drive from Rome, there is a valley of craggy mountain-sides and limpid and lively creeks that flow within a deep narrow valley floor, with cultivated fields, very green lawns and little medieval hilltop villages and fortresses; it’s the Nera River Park, also called Park of Waters.
The Valnerina covers a 2460-hectare area, established in 1995, and thanks to the particular geographic structure, its characteristic territory and climate, it’s the perfect location to practice outdoor sports during all seasons and for reinvigorating strolls far from the chaotic city life.
If you are a sport lover, this pristine environment gives you masses of choices; and the best place to start is absolutely the Marmore Waterfalls, a breath-taking ancient man-made work situated near Terni.
It was realized at the beginning of the III century B.C. by the Roman Consul Curio Dentato by flowing the Velino river into the Nera river below, and its magnificent beauty – with its height of 165 m and 3 drops – was also celebrated in ancient times, when it was one of the main stopovers of the Grand Tour and many poets and writers talked about it.
Apart from the 5 mapped and signposted trails within the excursion area of the park, the Waterfall represents a great starting point for rafting, kayaking, hydro speed and canoeing.
Here, the river flows wildly over the rocks for more than 3 km, passing through fourth degree rapids that you can descend down on a rubber boat; there’s also the soft rafting, practicable along the route between the villages of Ferentillo and Arrone, open to children and to inexperienced swimmers.
Another exciting way to descend the rapids is Hydrospeed: you have to wear a specific wet suit, flippers, a life buoy and a helmet, and then you hold a sort of hard floating plastic toboggan; the descent lasts about 2 hours, and simply abandon yourself to the flow.
Not far from the Marmore Falls park there is the striking Lake Piediluco, surrounded by short colored houses and wooded mountains, among which the Echo mountain, so called thanks to its distinctive tract: it can perfectly send back a whole hendecasyllable.
This lake is the seat of the Italian Rowing League and the Italian Rowing Centre and several rowing champions train there; the lack of flowing and regular winds create the perfect condition for world-class rowing competition.
Around Lake Piediluco and along Nera river there are also routes for canoeing and kayaking, where specialized clubs regularly organize river and slalom canoeing courses, and courses for disables as well.
Moreover, the Nera river crawls with trouts, so it’s possible to practice various types of sport fishing, game fishing and the so called no-kill fishing, which attracts lot of enthusiastics from the world.
Not only watersports!
The rocky walls which characterize the Valnerina landscape are perfect for those who want to enjoy free-climbing, facing several levels of difficulty; it can be practiced even at night.
The main school is at Precetto (Ferentillo), where athletes can choose between an indoor climbing gym and a natural climbing cliff, with more than 500 paths of increasing difficulty and different types of rocks and shapes.
The valley is also rich in gullies, gulches and canyons with awesome jumps cut during centuries of erosion, in which one can go down with ropes, slide on the toboggans and dive into pools. So if you love both water and rocks canyoning is the perfect choice!
Are you interested in speleology?
The park of Marmore Falls has another surprise: its travertine rocks contain numerous natural caves with an interesting variety of rich concretions, like plant fossils and strong stalactites, strewed along irregular tunnels and galleries.
If you want to discover Valnerina from on high, you can choose paraglider, hang-glider and paramotor – there’s a national school of free flight, the Prodelta, that organizes this kind of courses, in the perfect (and striking) scenery of Castelluccio di Norcia’s plain.
Finally, Valnerina offers lots of naturalistic itineraries where you can do trekking, cycling holidays and endurance, one of the best way to enjoy your experience being in touch with nature and discovering the beauties of the landscapes.